Back at the Office

It’s one thing to listen to a speaker. It’s another thing to do something about what you learned when you return to the office—assuming the speaker said something worth doing. Last week I delivered three presentations to communication professionals attending a world conference in Washington, D.C. One was a three-hour workshop focused on reinventing the… Read more

The Right Communication Measurement is a CEO’s Best Friend

Communication. That soft, touchy-feely stuff. You can’t really measure it, right?    Wrong! We use many ways to measure organizational effectiveness, but if there’s one best tool to measure communication inside an organization, it’s the value to cost assessment (V2CA). More than one CEO has likened it to portfolio management–managing a portfolio of communication activities just… Read more

Want a Dose of Reality? Go to the Floor!

When something doesn’t feel right, or when things aren’t adding up, go to gemba, Japanese for the real place–where the work gets done. Go to the sales floor, office floor, showroom floor, surgical floor, warehouse floor, plant floor, truck floor. That’s where you’ll find the problems, what’s causing them and what to do about it…. Read more

Communicate Like Air Traffic Control

Why don’t some people let you know when they get your emails, especially when the messages contain important information? Not only is it bad form, but it can set the scene for mistakes. In today’s business environment, there’s way too much at risk NOT to close the communication loop. There’s an overreliance on assumption. “I… Read more

Is There a Best People Measure? Maybe Not.

Measurement is a powerful communication device. What you count counts. What you measure tells people what’s important. It drives actions people take and the results they create. When you try to measure too many things it may tell the people you lack priorities because “everything’s important.”

Leaders: Ask What’s Important

Are you asking questions that communicate that you want new ideas to help customers and the company? In my book The Leadership Solution, I discussed how leaders can use questions to signal their priorities. If you want to improve speed to market, ask about speed to market issues. If you want to focus on customers,… Read more

What Counts is What You Count

Leaders can talk all they want about the need for people to work together, but if the numbers tell those people to work in silos they will.  The “do communication” will trump the “say communication” nearly every time. What counts is what you count. Among the CEO’s I work with, getting people to work together… Read more

Harvard Business Review: A good tool to have

I found this current  Harvard Business Review article entitled, “Are You Ready to Rebound” instructive. It focuses on identifying new opportunities to improve business execution through: Strong operational hydraulics Rewards for performance, not mediocrity Core values with teeth The right conversations Adventurous leaders in key positions Constant pressure versus heroic efforts It uses a straightforward and… Read more

Undercover Boss Should Stay That Way

I alerted our Leadership Report readers to this new CBS “reality” TV show last week.  It came after last night’s Super Bowl. I couldn’t handle it after watching such a great game.  Sort of like chasing a perfectly grilled prime ribeye with a cheap white zinfandel. (Is there an expensive white zin?)  For those who were… Read more

One Banker’s Mindset

According to a piece in The New York Times  a couple of weeks ago, at least one banker attempts to rationalize high pay in the financial industry with the need to fund the industry members’ personal lifestyles. In an objective article by Steven Brill, a banker defends the need for high pay that’s paid now–with no deferral.  … Read more